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Civilization and its Discontents is in great part a philosophical treatise in which Freud tries to replace a metaphysical idealistic framework with a psychological one He does so by using a performative therapeutic style of argumentation in which he encourages the reader to analyze philosophical problems in the context of his daily life and realize that Freuds psychoanalytic explanations fit more closely with his own experience than metaphysical constructions By examining the problems in this way Freud wishes to show that nothing can be learned about man by appealing to abstraction and that this type of thinking is not only illogical but one of the main problems with civilization keeping men from attaining greater happiness However Freud also asserts that certain metaphysical constructions are necessary for men to remain happy and bound together in society So by exposing the root of every appeal to mans higher nature it seems that psychoanalysis is being destructive people were to accept what he says to make everything unconscious conscious how would they deal with the problems of civilization Civilization and its Discontents is the most philosophical of Freuds works He combines many of his previous ideas to produce a commentary on civilization and life in general normally the realm of philosophers Freuds past works hinted at and even addressed some philosophical problems but here he offers an overview of life based on his extensive psychoanalytic findings Because Freud wants to address philosophical and existential problems the book sounds like a work of philosophy He discusses such issues as religion aesthetics ethics the purpose of life civilization versus a state of nature and problems with civilization Freud uses some logic makes reference to Schiller and uses the term Fate in some of his explanations such as when he expands the notion that an infant is dependant on the father into the idea that the feeling of helplessness is permanently sustained by fear of the superior power of Fate 20
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